Concussion Does Not Only Happen to Athletes

| Live Your Life

A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a force either directly to the head or body.1 This force causes the brain to bounce or twist around in the skull triggering a cascade of chemical changes within the brain.1 Concussions alters the way the brain functions rather than structural damage that can be seen on imaging. Often concussions are associated in the media with young athletes sustaining concussions after a hard hit in football. However, falls are the most common cause of a concussion in any age group.2 Older adults are more at risk for severe health outcomes following a concussion in comparison to a younger individual.2 Symptoms of a concussion can look very different person to person. Here are some common symptoms after sustaining a concussion: 

What Are Symptoms of a Concussion?2,3

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Memory Loss
  • Headache
  • Vision Changes
  • Worsening Mood Disorders (i.e., Depression)
  • Headaches
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns (i.e., sleeping too much or trouble falling asleep)
  • Ringing in the ears

For most people their symptoms appear within the first 7 to 10 days after the concussive event and will go away within 3 months. Post-concussion syndrome is when symptoms of a mild TBI last longer than expected after the concussive event.3 Risk factors for developing post-concussive symptoms include being a woman and increasing age.3

Physical therapists can identify and treat many problems related to concussion.4 Headaches, dizziness, and balance problems are often related to impairments of the neck and vestibular system.4 Progressive return to activity once your concussive symptoms improve will be guided by your physical therapist.4 Your physical therapist will gradually add normal activities back to your day to day routine without overloading your brain and central nervous system.4 In collaboration with other health care providers, physical therapists can help you return back to your prior level of function. At Live Your Life we can help you recover from your concussion through our Live Your Life IN BALANCE wellness program.

The best treatment for a concussion is prevention including fall prevention. Here at Live Your Life we have physical therapists and occupational therapists that can assess your risk for falling through a comprehensive evaluation. We will work with you to design an effective program to work on impairments identified at evaluation. Click here to learn more about Live Your Life FALL FREE and contact us for a free consultation.

Mild traumatic brain injuries, likes concussions, are considered a serious injury that need to be assessed by a healthcare provider. If you experience a head injury, seek medical attention immediately.


1CDC. What Is a Concussion? | HEADS UP | CDC Injury Center. Published February 12, 2019.

2Blum D. Concussions Pose Particular Risks for Older Adults. The New York Times. Published March 10, 2023. Accessed December 11, 2023.

3Persistent post-concussive symptoms (Post-concussion syndrome) – Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. Published January 18, 2023.

4Guide | Physical Therapy Guide to Concussion. Choose PT. Published August 26, 2021.

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